Best Free Online Poker Sites Usa

Poker is the ultimate social game. A huge part of the fun for most poker players is getting together with friends to throw some cards around and get into it with some animated table talk.

With the advancement of modern technology and online poker software, friends don’t have to meet at an actual table anymore. And those that can’t always meet up for their local home game now have several options for taking their weekly game online.

You can now set up easy and free online poker with friends on a poker site in just a few minutes.

The Winning Poker Network, 888poker and partypoker, for instance, regularly runs large poker tournaments, while online poker players can easily find high limit poker cash games at site such as Bovada and Ignition. If you plan on enjoying poker from your iPhone or Android Smartphone, the fast-fold game ‘Zone Poker’ from Bovada is also good. So, read on to find out more about online video poker games. Online Video Poker Sites in 2020. A listing of the 2020 best video poker sites that accept US players can be found below. Use Visa, MasterCard, and Amex (in some cases) to make secure and reliable deposits. Intertops Poker is a great little site. Intertops was the world’s first online betting destination when established in 1996 and they are back accepting USA players in their poker room. There are some restricted states which are: Washington, New York, Louisiana, Missouri, New Jersey, Maryland and Kentucky.

Chat features and video conference software like Zoom can enhance the experience with that much-adored trash talk. You can even tailor your game to your specific preferences including poker variation (Hold’em, Omaha etc.), cash games, tournaments, or even a turbo Sit & Go.

There are a couple of really solid online poker sites you can use which let you play for real money or play money, depending on your location. Here’s all the info you need to play multiplayer poker online with friends.

Best Sites to Play Online Poker with Friends

With a Verified Account. PLUS get a $40 Gold Coin Package for $20 on purchase
Daily FREE Sweeps Coins Just For Logging In
Redeemable For Cash Prizes
Site/AppDownload/Register (Free)AvailableReal Money/Play MoneyGame Options
PokerStarsGet $30 free play & set up account in NJ or PANJ, PA, InternationallyYes/YesPrivate clubs/tables for cash games, tournaments, sit & go, play money or real money
888pokerClaim $20 free & set up account in NJ or DENJ, DE, InternationallyYes/YesPrivate games and tables among friends; cash game and tournaments
Global PokerClaim $20 free package & set up account in USUS (excl. WA), Canada (except Quebec)Yes/YesFree cash games for Gold Coins (play money) and Sweep Coins (real money)

Best Poker App to Play Online with Friends

Neither the PokerStars or 888poker apps have “play with friends” options yet. If you want to take advantage of PokerStars’ excellent Home Games feature to play with only your friends, you all need to download the desktop poker client.

Like the PokerStars app, 888poker doesn’t yet offer the play with friends feature on the poker app. An additional challenge with 888 is that players using a Mac won’t find this feature either. As of June 2020, players needed to use a Windows-based system to play online poker with friends.

Play Poker Online with Friends in the US

Whether you’re separated from friends by geography or just looking to string together a quick event while your friends are at home, US players will find a couple of good options to play against friends online.

Here are the best to keep in mind when you’re ready to set a home game up:

Set Up a Home Game on PokerStars

The biggest name in poker offers its highly rated Home Games feature that lets you play poker online with friends remotely. Players in US states with access to PokerStars for regulated real money online poker, which include Pennsylvania and New Jersey, can meet up with friends online to play poker in private cash games and tournaments.

Anyone in other states across the USA can use the Home Games feature at PokerStars.net to play for virtual currency. You can also, of course, use play money at the tables but exchange real money among your friends.

Setting up a home poker game with friends online at PokerStars is pretty easy but requires some initial coordination and effort.

All players will need to register an account and download the software client to get started:

Setting up an account via any of our links ensures you a $30 free play bonus or an up to $600 deposit match bonus. After setting up an account, follow these steps:

  • Log in and look to the right side of the lobby.
  • Click on the image of three dots at the bottom offering more options.
  • Once selected, click on “Home Games.” You can then click on the option to create a poker club.
  • Give your poker club a name and set the invitation code for players who you plan on inviting. This is a password so your friends can get in the club.
  • Once that’s complete, your new poker club is ready to go. Invite your friends with the name of the club and invitation code.

Here’s how it looks as you go through the sign-up process:

PokerStars will send you an email invitation you can forward to other players so they can easily find your club and join. As club manager, you’ll need to approve them to let them in the game.

At PokerStars Home Games, you can add specific colors and images to customize your club as well. When your players are approved and ready for action you can then schedule tournaments and cash games as you like.

In cash games, you can set the stakes for the tables. What’s also great about Home Games is that you can select any number of games beyond online Texas Holdem, from Seven Card Stud to Badugi to Eight-Game Mix.

For tournament players, all of those games are available and players can specify their own settings including:

  • Buy-in
  • Number of seats per table
  • Game type (regular, rebuy, knockout)
  • Blind levels
  • Game speed
Best

You can also:

  • Make announcements on your club site
  • Set up leaderboards
  • Track event results

How to Set up a Play-Money Game with Real Money on the Side

As noted earlier, players can only buy in and play a private game online with friends for real money in a legal jurisdiction. So players would all need to be located within that jurisdiction – such as all in Pennsylvania or New Jersey.

That doesn’t mean there can’t be a little skin in the game elsewhere, though. It’s easy to collect buy-ins for your online poker game with PayPal or an app like Venmo or Zelle. Players simply transfer a few bucks using their online accounts or mobile app.

One player can act as the banker just like in a home game, and then pay out winners at the end of the night. Online payment platforms make this an easy process just like in a live home game.

How to Play Free Online Poker with Friends on PokerStars

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PokerStars Home Games is really set up for all types of players and, much like the process for playing a real-money home game, the steps for setting up private games in the play money software are easy to follow. Here’s a quick step-by-step guide:

  • Install the desktop client software. (Remember, the app doesn’t offer this feature).
  • Register an account with your name, email, and other details
  • After downloading, open the software client and log in.
  • Click on the three buttons at the bottom offering more options.
  • Click on Home Games and the option to create a poker club.
  • Give your club a name and set the invitation code.
  • Set up a time for your tournament or cash game with details like stakes, number of players per table, etc.
  • Once that’s completed, forward an invitation with poker club name and password to friends.
  • Players can then join the club at the appointed time and get ready to play cards.

How to Set Up a Private Poker Game at 888poker

On Sign Up
100% up to $1,500 Deposit Bonus Offer

888poker currently offers legal real money online poker in New Jersey and Delaware, and friends can also meet up virtually to play for real money. Those outside NJ and DE can also set up an online poker game with just their friends using play money at the virtual tables.

The 888 software is user friendly and it’s easy to create your own poker game with friends. Here’s how to get started:

  • Claim your bonus, create an account and download the 888poker software.
  • Click on “Extra Games” from the middle top of the pull-down menu.
  • Select “Play with Friends” to get started. This is also how players will join your “home game.”
  • Click on “Create a New Game” to begin setting up your own game.

No Poker Club Required!

Unlike PokerStars, at 888 you can set up an individual cash game or tournament without creating a club. Players can easily create a game name and password to share with friends. You can then set the

  • Start date
  • Start time
  • Number of seats
  • Buy-in

Players will then simply provide that game name and password to join after you’ve emailed them the information. Thunder valley penny slots no deposit. An easy 888 invitation option is provided. Simply email it to yourself and then forward that to friends.

When it’s time to play, those players simply join up using the name and password.

Which is better for poker with friends: PokerStars or 888poker?

For multiplayer poker online with friends, and especially for tournaments and different game variations, PokerStars Home Games is the best option available. Players have numerous options and it’s easy for all players to jump online and play.

That being said, the simplicity and ease which you can just set up a private table and jump in at 888poker is also great. 888poker also currently has a very good free no deposit bonus for opening a new poker account. Here’s a look at some aspects of the available sites mentioned here.

Poker SiteCash GamesTournamentsAdditional Notes
PokerStarsYesYes• Play money option available anywhere
• Real money option in NJ and PA
• Numerous game options & customizations
888pokerYesYes• Only available on international .com site for play money
• Numerous game options
• No club required
Global PokerYes (limited to meeting up at tables with few or no players)No• No real home game option, but available with some coordination for cash games
• Real money Sweeps Coin play allowed

Advantages to Playing Poker Online with Friends

Obviously playing online offers a great way to keep the action going when you’re away from your friends.

Players located in different parts of the world can reconnect and communicate. Here are some other positives:

  • Complete control over the game
  • Easy dealing, splitting pots, and game management
  • Several game variations to choose from
  • Tournaments are easy to set up and run
  • Players can be located anywhere

Another great advantage is that you can play with any number of players. If you have a lot of friends, a multi-table tournament is possible with the promise of a nice payout for the winner.

Only have a handful of players looking for action? You can play three- or four-handed. It’s even possible to simply play some poker with just one friend to work on your heads-up skills.

What Games Can You Set Up for Online Poker with Friends?

What’s great about playing online with friends is the number of games possible online. It makes for a great way to add some new games to the mix in your home game. You don’t have to worry about the intricacies involved with dealing a new game yourself at the table. Some poker variations to choose from include:

  • Texas Hold’em
  • Omaha
  • Seven Card Stud
  • 5-Card Omaha
  • 2-7 Lowball (Single or Triple Draw)
  • HORSE
  • 8-Game Mix
  • Badugi

Cash Games vs. Tournaments – Pros and Cons

Setting up an online cash game or tournament among friends is easy. Here’s a look at a few things to keep in mind when getting started.

Tournaments

Pros

  • Simple to set up and meet friends online.
  • Easy for budgeting and paying out winners.
  • Can be set up for any number of players.
  • Players know exactly what to budget for an event.

Cons

  • May need to be a bit more organized than a cash game.
  • When playing with multiple tables, may not allow for as much interaction as a single table.

Cash Games

Pros

  • Easy to set up with your own game and stakes.
  • Several game options available.
  • Players can come and go as they like.

Cons

Best free online poker sites usa real money
  • Players looking for real money play will have to settle up offline. This is pretty simple however.
  • May not always produce a full table. Players could have a short-handed table on occasion, depending on turnout.

Online Poker with Friends at Global Poker

This option may not be quite as simple (and isn’t conducive to tournaments), but players spread across the country can still get together for some cards at Global Poker.

Global Poker is a sweepstakes poker and casino site that allows you to play for virtual currency, called Gold Coins, or a separate currency called Sweeps Coins. Sweeps Coin are accumulated when you buy Gold Coins or win them in Sweeps Coin poker games or tournaments. Sweeps Coins can then be redeemed for real money.

Setting up a real money poker game with friends on Global Poker isn’t quite as easy but it can be done. Just have everyone come to an agreement on the stakes and find an empty table. It may take a bit of coordination, but might be worth it.

Each table is named, which allows players to find where everyone will be at a certain time. Be aware that these tables won’t be exclusive, however, and other players may jump in if there are empty seats.

For example, a few friends may all be up for some SC0.25/SC0.50 No Limit Texas Hold’em. A Sweeps Coin table named “Naples” offers those stakes and no one is playing there at the moment. You and your friends will simply have to jump on the table and get started. There should be several six-handed and nine-handed tables at any one time.

Global Poker doesn’t offer a downloadable app yet but its quick-play browser-based platform makes it easy for players with a phone or tablet to jump on. The functionality is also surprisingly good. On your phone you’ll still find everything that the traditional desktop version offers – including the ability to meet up with friends at a poker table.

With a Verified Account. PLUS get a $40 Gold Coin Package for $20 on purchase
Daily FREE Sweeps Coins Just For Logging In
Redeemable For Cash Prizes

Poker with Friends Online FAQ

Are there any other apps for poker with friends online?

Some players make use of free social gaming poker apps to play with friends. There are numerous options that allow players to play for virtual money. Many players use these and settle up with real money via online transfers using PayPal, Venmo, or another option. Real money poker apps are available in legalized US states, although none currently have the built-in Home Games with Friends feature.

Can I play poker with friends on my iPhone/Android?

PokerStars and 888poker don’t offer an option to play with friends on their mobile apps. Players will need to use a traditional desktop computer or laptop.

Players using Global Poker to meet friends at a Gold Coin or Sweeps Coin table can easily use its browser-based poker option to play on a mobile phone or tablet.

Are online poker games with friends safe?

You can feel good about playing online games at PokerStars and 888poker. They are among the safest poker sites you can find online and use intricate and cutting edge security measures to keep player information and any online funds safe.

When playing for a bit of cash on the side, however, that requires all parties willing to pony up. Make sure your friends aren’t scofflaws if they plan on getting in on the action.

Do I need to deposit any money to play online with friends?

Only if all your players who are all located in a legal jurisdiction can play for real money online. Those poker games with players who may be located around the country will have to make use of play money features.

Global Poker players meeting for ring games can use Gold Coins or Sweeps Coins. GC is a virtual currency and SC is an alternate virtual currency on the site that players can redeem for real cash and prizes.

Can I play poker with friends online entirely free?

Players can indeed battle it out for play money with friends on PokerStars, 888poker and Global Poker without depositing any real money.

Online poker in the United States has changed drastically in the last decade. There was once a time when the biggest and best poker sites were open to US players. That’s no longer the case.

American poker players have a difficult time finding a safe real money poker site to join these days, especially one that has plenty of banking options, games that run, and reasonable promotions.

Since it’s so tough to find a legit site, we suggest you save yourself the time and headache by using our recommendations instead. We’ve listed the best USA poker sites below.

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We’ll explain how we came up with our recommendations in the next section.

Following that, we’ll explain what kinds of games, software, and promotions Americans can expect to find at US-facing poker sites. We’ll also share some of the biggest pros and cons to playing at these poker rooms.

The goal here is to educate you on what you can expect if you choose to play online poker from the US, which can be a gray area for many players. And we want to make sure you join the only safest and best real money poker sites.

Without further ado, let’s jump right into it.

Choosing which real money USA poker sites to recommend is no easy task. While there are several sites that accept US players, only a few of them are worth your time.

What we want to do now is give you a brief explanation of why we selected the top online poker rooms to recommend to our readers. The goal is to show you that there was real effort and thought put into our reviews and ratings.

However, the following information will also help you find a real money online poker site if for some reason you don’t want to choose from one of our recommendations.

Okay, so when selecting a USA poker site to join, what variables or attributes should you look for?

We believe the following three factors are the most important.

Reputation

We use multiple sources to determine a site’s reputation. This includes poker forums, industry insiders, our own contacts, firsthand experience, and more.

We specifically make sure that they are properly licensed to provide online poker for real money, and that they’re regulated by a reputable gambling authority.

There are two things we look for here.

The first thing we look for is whether the poker site has banking options that we can use to make a deposit. The best options today for US poker players is a credit card or Bitcoin.

The best options for cashouts are Bitcoin, followed by wire transfers, paper checks, or money transfers.

The second thing we look at is whether the poker room has a reputation for cashing out US players within a reasonable timeframe.

Traffic

Traffic or player liquidity is the next important attribute to look for. That’s because poker is unique from most other forms of real money gambling in that you need other people in order to play.

There are some USA poker sites that prohibit players from certain states from joining. And you’re not going to find many players from countries outside the US on these sites for various reasons.

This leads to most poker websites having hardly any traffic. These rooms aren’t worth joining.

Best Free Online Poker Sites For Us Players

The US poker sites that we recommend have steady traffic so that you can find real money games to play throughout the day and, at the very least, during peak hours.

The attributes above are the most important. However, they’re not the only ones we consider when ranking the best USA poker sites. Nor should they be all the you look if you’re deciding where to play real money online poker yourself.

We also recommend you consider the following.

This encompasses everything from the types of games and formats the room offers to the variants and stakes that you can play.

You’ll obviously want to find a site that caters to your specific interests, whether that’s playing mixed game cash games or deep stack Hold’em tournaments.

Mobile

Can you play poker on a mobile device? What’s more, is the room compatible on your specific device?

The top online poker rooms, for the United States or anywhere else, should all be compatible with a wide range of mobile devices nowadays.

Do you have to download the software, or do you play from your browser? Do you have a preference?

Beyond that, you also want to look at the features the software has. For example, can you use four-color decks, auto-top off your stack, and do you have the option to set up your table layout however you want?

Promotions, Bonuses, and Rewards

  • What kinds of deals can you claim?
  • Can you claim a deposit bonus?
  • Do they have leaderboard contests?
  • Do they have free plays?
  • Can you earn extra rewards through a VIP program?

The leading real money poker sites for the USA are all generous in terms of the extra value they offer players.

  • What kinds of tournaments can you play?
  • Are there guaranteed tournaments?
  • Does the poker room offer satellites to live events?
  • Do they have satellites?

We also recommend looking at previously scheduled tournaments. Did the guaranteed tournaments get enough registrants to meet the guarantee or did the poker room have to cover the difference for most of them?

If it was the latter, which is called an overlay tournament, then you should strongly consider joining. Those are valuable tournaments to play since you’ll have fewer players to fight through for the same prize pool.

Does the poker room offer any kind of poker education or training? Are there any tools or resources to help you learn the game and get better at it?

This is a general idea of what we look for and the questions we ask whenever we review a poker room. We recommend you do the same. It’ll ensure that you enjoy whatever US poker site you join.

One of the challenges to playing real money poker online from the US is that there’s a shortlist of quality sites for you to join.

However, does that mean your options are short? Are you automatically limited on the games you can play, the features available to you, and the stakes you can play for?

That’s what we want to explore in this section.

What Poker Games Can Americans Play Online?

You won’t have a problem finding Texas Hold’em. That’s the most popular poker game in the world. You’ll also find Omaha games running too, depending on the site you join.

However, you’re going to struggle to find other games such as Stud, Razz, and mixed games. These games aren’t nearly as popular and there’s not enough player liquidity for them to run often.

That’s assuming the poker websites you join even offer them. Not all of them do.

Assuming you’re good with primarily playing Hold’em with some Omaha mixed in, you’ll have a large variety of formats, variants, and stakes to choose from.

As for stakes, most cash games will start at $0.01/$0.02 or $0.02/$0.05. The stakes don’t peak as high for US players as they do players around the world. That’s okay, because you’ll find most games running at the micros and small stakes.

The tournaments that you can buy into cost about the same as other major tournaments at European poker sites. The difference between these tournaments, though, is that the guarantees usually aren’t as large at US poker sites.

For example, you can buy into a $100k guarantee for $162 on Bovada where first place will receive around $20,000. This pales in comparison to the Sunday Million on PokerStars that you can buy into for $109 and possibly win more than $100,000 for taking the whole thing down.

Free Online Poker Sites Usa

The point? Well, you’re risking more to win less money. That said, the upside is that we’d expect Bovada’s tournament to have a smaller and softer field compared to PokerStars. That should help balance it out.

Overall, players in the United States will have a smaller selection of real money poker games to choose from. There will be fewer tournaments running and the guarantees will be smaller, too.

However, that’s to be expected, considering the player pool is much smaller compared to the player pool outside the US. We don’t think it’s that big of a downside in the grand scheme of things anyway.

This is one area where US players won’t have to compromise too much on. Several of the top US poker sites have done a great job updating their software. They look modern and offer plenty of features.

Here are a few examples of what you can expect.

  • The ability to scale your tables to fit your screen. You can also tile, cascade, or stack your tables, which is handy for people who multi-table.
  • You’ll have the option to play five to ten tables simultaneously, and some sites allow for more.
  • Most top poker sites will offer features such as four-color decks, different card designs, easily readable pot and bet sizes, multiple languages, hand history replayer, and more.
  • Some rooms offer anonymous tables which is great for recreational players. You don’t have to worry about sharks preying on you.
  • Most sites offer built-in casino games and sportsbooks.
  • You can use third party software at some poker rooms.
  • You can play from your browser or download their software. Either option will be compatible with PCs AND Macs.

And more. The bottom line is that you’re not getting short-changed here. The best USA poker sites for real money have done a great job with their software.

US poker sites offer plenty of promotions, too. The following are a few examples of promotions you’ll be able to claim.

  • Deposit Bonuses – Some of the deals we’ve seen include a 100% match up to $1,000 and a 100% match bonus up to $500.
  • New Player Freerolls – These are tournaments that cost nothing to enter and offer a real money prize. Entry is limited to only those who signed up and made a deposit recently.
  • Free Play – Get a free tournament ticket or free money to use in the poker room’s casino or sportsbook.
  • VIP Program – Many sites will reward you for your loyalty. Perks can include exclusive bonuses, cash back, tournament tickets, and more.
  • Bad Beat Jackpots – Play on a BBJ table and you can win a piece of a jackpot if your hand (usually quad 2s or better) lose to a better hand.

And so on. The one thing you’ll want to pay attention to when it comes to promotions are the playthrough terms. Specifically, you want to look at how much money you need to spend to clear every $1 or $10 of your bonus, and if there’s a timeframe you need to do it in.

There are some sites that make it incredibly difficult to earn their promotions. It’s one of the biggest downsides to poker promotions but you can usually avoid it if you stick with the top poker sites and do your homework first.

Best Free Poker Sites Online

We also cover this information in detail in our reviews.

It’s not easy to play real money poker online in the United States when compared to playing poker online elsewhere in the world. However, it’s not impossible, especially after reading this guide.

While you might not have all the options that other players have, such as high stakes action, tons of games running, and enough traffic for games like Pineapple and HORSE to run, there’s still plenty of action to be had.

For example, you can play Hold’em and Omaha cash games and tournaments at the micro and small stakes levels. The software you’ll play on is top-notch and both serious and recreational players will be able to find a site that caters to them.

If that sounds good to you, then the first step to getting started is to find a site to join. To ensure you enjoy playing online poker for real money, join one of the best USA poker sites.

Best Online Us Poker Sites

Here’s a reminder of our top recommendations. Remember, each one has been thoroughly vetted and we’re confident you’ll have a good experience.